Yesterday, the community lost one its great LGBT-rights leaders, Frank Kameny. Kameny worked tirelessly to allow gays and lesbians to openly serve in the military, helped organize the first gay rights protest in front of the White House in 1965, and also founded the Mattachine Society.
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Army Veteran and Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) Executive Director Aubrey Sarvis said of Kameny:
Our nation and our movement have lost a tireless advocate for LGBT rights. Frank Kameny’s long and hard work laid the foundation for much of the progress we see today, and certainly none more so than the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’ It was his great wish to see that law relegated to the history books, and we are so proud that he was able to see that day and be a key part of that shared victory. At SLDN, we mourn the loss of our friend and ally, and we rejoice that Frank could join SLDN for special events and provide us with encouragement and wise counsel at critical stages as we followed in his footsteps and lifted posters to lobby Congress, the White House and the Pentagon for recognition and our equality.